The Crime Fighters

by W.O.G. Lofts and Derek Adley

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Index Table-of-Contents
Detective Abbott. See: Inspector Lamb.

Mr. And Mrs. Pat Abbott
Pat and Jean Abbott were a pair of familiar and likeable sleuths with a small brown dachshund named Pancho. The Abbotts were fairly comfortably off, with interests in the oil business, and their home town was San Francisco. They appeared in a number of “color” novels by Frances Crane, including The Turquoise Shop (1941), The Golden Box (1942), The Yellow Violet (1942), The Applegreen Cat (1943), The Pink Umbrella (1943) and a further 21 novels.

Uncle Abner
A rock hewn Virginia Squire of the Jeffersonian era whose role as protector of the innocent and righter of wrongs in his mountain community compelled him to turn detective. This resulted in some of the most convincing mysteries and their solutions known to the short story form. Abner, a huge man with an iron jaw, was one of those austere, deeply religious men who were products of the Reformation; he always carried a Bible in his coat pocket and belonged to the church militant. In character he was a stern and silent person who, when he did speak, did so in a very deep voice. The Abner stories-never a novel-appeared in popular magazines beginning in 1911 and were first collected in 1918 in Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries. The narratives were related in some cases by Abner’s nephew and also featured Squire Randolph, Justice of the Peace. The author was Melville Davisson Post.

Brant Adams
This American import was first published in the U.S. in 1887 as by Old Sleuth (qv) and then reprinted as The Emperor of Detectives in Number 1 of Aldine Detective Tales (1889). Bold as a lion and possessing amazing self-control, Adams was highly skilled in the use of weapons and disguises. He was well-educated and versed in several languages. He could also perform amazing feats of divination.

These were the initials of a young messenger boy with a gift for sleuthing. The stories about A.D.T. appeared in Boy’s Leader around 1904, and those we read offered no explanation of what the initials stood for.

Robert Agnold
Journalist and crime reporter on the “Evening World” who found that his job offered opportunities to exploit his interest in detection. Assisted by his friend and fellow newspaperman, Bob Tucker, he investigated the affair to be found in The Mystery of M. Felix (1890) by B. L. Farjeon.

Lee Aitken
He was a chemist who gambled too much and owed a lot of money to his boss as a result of poker games. Aitken is featured in Bruno Fischer’s The Bleeding Scissors (1948), in which his wife and sister disappear one wet winter night. With some desperation Aitken takes up the search. Little personal detail is given in the book as the story is told in first person.

Inspector Pierre Allain
Insp. Allain of the Surete Nationale was a very likeable, plumpish, bearded man with very dark brown eyes. He had a mercurial temperament, and proudly claimed to be the best detective in France. He mistrusted and disliked simple cases, for he got no satisfaction from solving them because they allowed no scope to his talent and, equally important, did not bring the adulation which was meat and drink to his well-developed ego. He appeared with Supt. Bill Stevens of the C.I.D., and later with the Field Security Police. His adventures, including The Corporal Died in Bed (1940), were by Bruce Graeme of “Blackshirt” fame.

Kent Allard. See: The Shadow.

Arthur Allen
This barrister-at-law is listed in Glover and Greene’s Victorian Detective Fiction as the detective in Edward Frederick Knight’s A Desperate Voyage (1898). As is true of most of this type of Victorian novel, whether Arthur Allen was a real detective is highly debatable. This is quite clearly a borderline case; in fact, an unnamed detective is also mentioned in the book.

Captain Jiggs Allerman
Allerman, of the Chicago Detective Force, was a lank form of a man who worked in conjunction with Terry Weston, a 35-year-old Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, in Edgar Wallace’s When the Gangs Came to London (1932).

Inspector Roderick Alleyn
Insp. Alleyn, a key character in a series of books by Ngaio Marsh, was later to become superintendent of the C.I.D., New Scotland Yard. He is usually very polite in an age of two-fisted gunmen posing as detectives. His right-hand man in Insp. Fox, for whom Alleyn has the affectionate names of Foxkin and Brer Fox. Alleyn’s wife is artist Agatha Troy, and his brother is a baronet. He is a handsome and clever detective who first appeared in A Man Lay Dead (1934) and subsequently in many others such as Overture to Death (1939), Enter a Murderer (1935) and Death in Ecstasy (1936).

Ambrose. See: Ambrose West.

Major Paul Roy Amery
Amery was known as the “Sinister Man” and was featured in the novel of the same name by Edgar Wallace in 1924. He is included here though not actually a detective but rather the solver and explainer of the mystery. He had thin lips and a saturnine face, with the faintest hint of a sneer and drooping corners of his mouth. This coincided with the lift of his upper lip and something in his blue eyes, a cold, appraising something, that was altogether and yet indefinably insulting. The hot sun of India had tanned his face a permanent brown, and he had something of the jungle beasts that he had once stalked. He was head of Amery and Amery, Shippers and Importers, and the mystery and crimes involved were found by Amery to have originated in his own firm.

Detective Sergeant Andrews
He was featured in The Murder of My Aunt (1934) by Richard Hull, described by experts in the detective field as a brilliant book, a classic of its kind, an intellectual shocker.

Marcus Andrews. See: Old Harry Hawk.

Angel Esquire
This was a nickname given to Christopher Angle years before by a little girl who had difficulty with his name. He had been a big game hunter, a special correspondent, a magistrate and a J.P. in Rhodesia. Now he’s featured in Edgar Wallace’s Angel Esquire (1908), in which he holds an unidentified and publicly unknown position at New Scotland Yard.

Soeur Angele
Before taking her vows as a nun, she had been Dr. Angela Present, having pursued courses in legal medicine and showing herself very gifted in this area. Indeed, she could have become chief assistant to the head of the forensic medicine department, but she decided that her first calling was to the Church. So she became plain Sister Angele, a Sister of Charity of the French Hospital at Bethlehem. She was of medium height and wore a linen cornet over her head so that the colour of her hair could not be seen. Her face, freckled and lit by two sparkling eyes, was very attractive and radiated intelligence, humour, and goodwill. She always held herself very straight, with a capacious bag on her left arm and a slate-grey umbrella in her right hand. Sister Angele was featured in Soeur Angele and the Embarrassed Ladies (1955) and two other novels by Henri Catalan.

Bruce Angelo
He was featured in Bruce Angelo, the Old Time Detective, Aldine Detective Tales No. 9, a reprint of the U.S. original which first appeared as Bruce Angelo, the City Detective (1887) as by Old Sleuth. He was also described as the Indomitable Detective.

Christopher Angle. See: Angel Esquire.

Inspector John Appleby
This witty, urbane sleuth from Michael Innes always had a trace of harmless snobbishness in his adventures. Eventually he became Sir John and one of the brightest luminaries of Scotland Yard. His wife was Judith Appleby and she was frequently mentioned in the long series of stories of which Seven Suspects (1936) was the first. Appleby was a university man, and as Howard Haycraft observed he was surely the most avid spotter of literary quotations and allusions among professional detectives.

Lew Archer
He was (John) Ross Macdonald’s pleasant and hardworking private investigator. He was an American, divorced, with a characteristic wariness of the obvious. He appeared in a notable series beginning with The Moving Target (1949).

David Arden
Arden was included in Glover and Greene’s Victorian Detective Fiction but probably represents a borderline case. He was an art collector and appeared with his nephew and niece in Checkmate by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu in 1871.

Kit Arden (Storm Arden)
This was a creation of Leslie Charteris and was featured in the non-Saint novel Daredevil(1929). Arden was fair-haired but greying at the temples in curious contrast to the unlined boyishness of his face. He had a slender yet broad-shouldered figure, gun-metal grey eyes, and a forceful mouth that could smile with infectious gaiety. His jaw was square and his hands were those of an artist. The nickname “Storm” fit him so perfectly that it was impossible to think of him as anything else-Storm, the reckless daredevil and trouble-hunter who joined the army at 16 and came out of WWI with the rank of captain.

Arizona Charlie
This detective was featured in an American reprint entitled The Crackshot Detective in Aldine Half-Holiday No. 34.

Jack Arklow
This famous river detective appeared in Pluck No. 309 in a story titled “To the Death; or, Arklow the Tec” by Franklyn Wright. Arklow had small, clear eyes and a strong mouth in a rugged bronze face. He was a very deep thinker and often pondered how human detectives were, not superhumans as the public demanded. They were simply creatures of flesh and blood as other men were, and not endowed with supernatural powers.

Allan Armadale
He is recorded as a detective in Glover and Greene’s Victorian Detective Fiction, but is a borderline case. Armadale was a yachtsman featured in Wilkie Collins Armadale (1866).

Monsieur Armand
Armand was a French detective who sometimes operated out of New York. He was also a brilliant swordsman, and appeared in American stories reprinted in various Aldine Detective Tales.

Oliver Armiston
He was a creation of Frederick Irving Anderson and featured in Book of Murder (1930). Although listed in Haycraft’s Murder for Pleasure as a detective, this is rather debatable. The book features the more famous Manhattan manhunter Deputy Parr along with the one-time author Oliver Armiston. Apparently Armiston was a crime friction writer so ingenious that the police paid him to quit writing, so that criminals would not get ideas.

Inspector Henry Arnold
Miles Burton featured Insp. Arnold in A Smell of Smoke (1960) and many other novels. Arnold was with the C.I.D. of the Metropolitan Police, and was assisted in most of his cases by his old friend, Desmond Merrion. The Latter, now an architect, lived at Eldersham Hall in East Anglia, and had been an intelligence officer with considerable experience in investigation in two world wars.

Shadrack Arnold
Twenty-four-year-old Shadrack Arnold was six foot six and had stringy yellow hair, smoky blue eyes, and 128 pounds on his gaunt frame. He worked in a grocery store but was reputed to be the best private detective in Grail County. Arnold got his gold-edged diploma, complete with all his detective gear, from Investigations Incorporated in St. Louis. The creator was Verne Chute and Arnold appeared in “Never Trust the Obvious,” which first appeared in Short Stories, October 10, 1944, and was then collected in Four & Twenty Bloodhounds (1950).

He was one of the many detectives featured in “Clues Ltd”, which ran in Merry and Bright.

Astrogen Kerby, known as “Astro”, was featured in The Master of Mysteries (1912), a collection of stories published anonymously but written by Gelett Burgess. Astro had a languid and self-conscious personality and posed as a palmist and crystal-gazer, but was really a very clever detective. At his séances, conduced in draped and darkened apartments, he wore oriental costumes and looked exceedingly bored. His lover and assistant in his adventures was a beautiful young blonde woman with just as curious a name as his, Valeska Wynne. At the end of the series the two were married.

Astro himself was dark and handsome and his eyes had long lashes. He was usually dressed in a red silk robe, and with his turban, oriental slippers and water pipe he made an intriguing figure. To complete his image, he kept a white lizard as a pet.

Robert Audley
He was featured in an 1862 novel by M. E. Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret. Audley was a barrister with chambers in Fig Tree Court, Temple. He was a handsome, lazy, care-for-nothing fellow of twenty seven. He was also generous, with a fund of sly wit and quiet humour under his listless, dawdling, indifferent and irresolute manner. Audley smoked a German pipe, a meerschaum, and had a great interest in reading French novels.

Chief Superintendent William Austen
Austen, created by Anne Hocking, was extremely popular with his colleagues, with all for and with whom he worked. His assistants were usually Insp. Curtis and Sgt. Flyte. Austen lived in a tall 18th century house which he had inherited. It stood well back from the main road on the Chelsea Embankment and Austen had converted it into flats. He was a bachelor, looked after by an ex-navy man. His intense interest in the vagaries of human nature often led to success in his cases. In later books, such as Candidates for Murder (1961), he appeared as a Commander, with his assistant Flyte promoted to Inspector.

Arnold Austin
He was featured in the long Merry and Bright series entitled “Clues Ltd”, along with many other sleuths.

Dick Austin
A detective in the New Orleans Police Department, Dick Austin was a slender young man with brown eyes and hair. His hands were white and slim, never revealing that they contained sinews of steel. Austin was featured in Who Did It?, a reprint from America found in Aldine Detective Tales No. 5.

The Avengers
“The Avengers” was an ABC-TV series that demonstrated more exotic exits from life than the whole James Bond fantasia. Yet psychiatrist have called it the best non-corrupting programme for children. At 50,000 pounds an episode, it was one of Britain’s most expensive television programmes, and one of the most profitable. Up to 1969 this highly sophisticated fairy tale had reached six series and had been sold in 90 countries. It was created by Brian Clemens and Bob Jones, and its authors included Philip Levene, Terry Nation, Brian Clemens, Dennis Spooner, Jeremy Burnham and Dave Freeman. It would be hard to describe the basis of the set-up of the Avengers, but one thing is certain, it was their objective to fight the evildoers and criminals that menaced England. The central figure in the series was John Steed, the elegant, bowler-hatted and lethal good fellow, complete with brolly and played throughout the series by Patrick McNee. Steed was aided by three pretty women who left their mark on controversy and the fashion world, due to this very series.

First Steed’s partner was the irreplaceable-or so we thought-Cathy Gale, played by Honor Blackman. She was later replaced by Emma Peel, otherwise Diana Rigg, who was easily the most unforgettable. Then in September 1968, in an episode titled “The Forget-Me-Not,” written by co-creator Brian Clemens, we were treated to a rather touching sequence of saying goodbye to Emma and hello to a new girl, Linda Thorson in the shoes of Tara King.

At this point we were introduced to a mysterious new boss for Steed, known as “M” for Mother, the part (starring Patrick Newall) adding further fantasy to an already fantastic organization.

This excellent series had its idiosyncrasies as shown in the words of its creators: “Because we are a fantasy, we have not shown policemen or coloured men in ”The Avengers.“

Several books based on the themes of this TV series have been published, including The Laugh Was on Lazarus (1967) by John Garforth and Deadline (1965) by Patrick McNee (actually written by Peter Leslie). The latter novel has Steed and Peel facing ruthless criminals bent on the destruction of England.

At the time of this writing, a new stage version of “The Avengers” has been announced, with Simon Oates in the role of Steed and Sue Lloyd, alias Mrs. Hannah Wild, as Avenger girl Markly.

Detective Aycliffe
This Scotland Yard sleuth was featured in a book by Charles Bennett, Five Thousand Pounds Reward (1899).

Walter Babbing
Babbing’s Detective Bureau had offices in the Cranmer Building on Broadway and was based on the actual methods of the Burns Academy. Harvey O’Higgins wrote of Babbing in “The Blackmailer”, a short story collected in The Adventures of Detective Barney (1915), but he mainly placed the emphasis on Babbing’s assistant Barney Cook, q.v.

Joyofish Babu. See: Rai Bahadur Jyotish Nath Chaudhuri.

Badger and Phil
These two characters, who seemed to work as a team, appeared in Aldine Detective Tales.

Stuart Bailey. See: “77 Sunset Strip”.

Detectives Baily and Mattie
Tom Baily and his colleague were two city detectives that worked as a team. They were featured in Aldine Detective Tales No. 160.

Carfax Baines
A creation of William Murray Graydon, Baines originally appeared in Henderson’s Budget Story Book in the 1890s, and 16 stories were collected as Carfax Baines: His Strange and Remarkable Exploits (ca.1899). The series was later resurrected in the supplement to the “Our Detective Story” Section of Nelson Lee Library in 1922-23, beginning with “The Case of the Studio Murder.”

Will Baird. See: Red Light Will.

Ned Balfour. See: Old Ironsides.

Lieutenant Frank Ballinger. See: “M Squad”.

Douglas Banks. See: Dick Hart.

Rex Banner
Banner was a fairly efficient and likeable member of the British chapter of international private eyes. He operated a sort of news agency but was always involved in the standard occupations of private eyes, i.e., getting bashed on the head and encountering remarkably available young women. Created by Robert Chapman, he appeared in The Downward Path (1959) and at least seven other novels.

Bill Banning
Nat Easton’s character combined a small talent for writing crime novels with the exercise of his detective faculties. He usually raised a crop of mistakes but always finally managed to solve the mystery and unearth the culprits. Banning can be met in A Book for Banning (1959) and Bill for Damages (1958), as well as six other novels.

Jim Barclay
Detective Sergeant Jim Barclay had a tall slim figure and a handsome boyish face. He was always perfectly groomed and attired, and was one of the smartest men in Scotland Yard’s C.I.D. In fact, he was rather a dandy, carrying a slim tasselled umbrella and sporting a monocle in his left eye. Despite the stupid expression that adorned his face, he was one of the cleverest men in Intelligence, where he was nicknamed Lord Jim. Together with Andy Kemp, he appeared in the 1928 issues of The Jester in a series entitled “Pals of the Flying Squad.”

Bareback Billy. See: Bill Bristol.

Charlie Barlow. See: “Z Cars” and “Softly Softly”.

John Barman
Barman was a Victorian private detective who lived at King’s Road, Chelsea. He was a pipe-smoking, whisky-drinking man, with a rather dogmatic bullying manner toward his servants. Arthur A’Beckett featured him in Fallen Among Thieves, an 1870 three-decker.

Inspector Barnard
He was known throughout the west as a daring and exceedingly shred detective of the Kansas City Police Force. Insp. Barnard was featured in Aldine Detective Tales No. 159.

Inspector Barnes
The Last Meeting (1885) by (James) Brander Matthews introduced Inspector Barnes of the New York Police.

Henry Barnes
Barnes was a New York detective featured in Piping a Conspiracy, which appeared in No. 81 of Aldine Detective Tales. He had an iron-frame, clear-cut and determined features, and clear grey eyes, all indicative of dash and courage.

The Baron
This was the nickname of John Mannering, a creation of John Creasey writing as Anthony Morton. The Baron books tell the fascinating story of a man who developed from a crook into an investigator. He was a handsome fellow, over six feet tall, with dark wavy hair cut short and greying a little at the temples. Many thought of him, at first glance, as just good looking and dull, with limited intelligence. Others who knew him well still regarded him as a man about town, a dilettante spoiled by too much money and a dash of blue blood.

Few knew all the truth about him, either of his past or of what he had become. Supt. William Bristow of New Scotland Yard had never been able to prove what he believed about his past. Then, the Baron had been a reckless, high-spirited cracksman and jewel thief who selected his victims with great care, robbing the unworthy rich and helping the poor.

The Baron had blazed like a comet in the sky, setting the police at Scotland Yard and throughout the country on their ears. He was a devil-may-care knave who caught the interest of the press and the hearts of the people. They dubbed him Robin Hood and laughed with him at the police. He had been driven into conflict with the law and the community by an experience which had hammered the cold iron of bitterness deep into him.

But the bitterness had drained away with the years during which he had turned from cracksman into collector-dealer and lone wolf investigator. His early bitterness had been due to his love for Lorna Fauntley, who was married to the rascal Rennigan-though Rennigan eventually released her.

After his reform, the Baron helped the police throughout his adventures, and Bristow often consulted him as a jewel expert and enlisted his help against criminals. As Captain Mannering in World War II, he was given special leave to assist Bristow in tracking down a black market gang. In 1946 he took over Quinn’s, an antique shop in Mayfair, and in 1958 established a branch in Boston, followed by a Canadian one in 1961. In 1947 he met Josh Larraby, a beggar just out of prison for jewel robbery, and Larraby became his manager at Quinn’s. Josh appeared frequently in the stories, and in one is almost terribly murdered.

The Baron also made it to television, with Steve Forrest and Sue Lloyd. It was a good series but far from the story line of the books. Here the Baron spoke with an American or Canadian accent, and was unmarried, though he lived with Lorna, an extremely talented artists, in a Chelsea flat.

Many of the Baron books were also published in the U.S., though in the early American editions he was dubbed Blue Mask. The series eventually ran to some 47 volumes, including Hide the Baron (1946), Help from the Baron (1955), Frame the Baron (1957) and Career for the Baron (1946).

Gideon Barr
He was a creation of Harry Blyth, who also wrote the very first Sexton Blake story. Gideon Barr, a detective of Baylards Inn, Holborn, London, was featured in the boys’ paper Pluck. “Hero and Detective”, No. 9, and “Christmas Clues”, No. 56, were typical (the latter also included Sexton Blake and Nelson Lee).

Chief Inspector Barrabel
John Leslie Barrabel of Scotland Yard appeared in Edgar Wallace’s The Squeaker (1927). Although he had been instrumental in bringing so many men to justice, he had never appeared in the witness box and was almost unknown, even to press men. For eight years he had sat in a long room on the third floor at the Yard, surrounded by banks of files, examining, checking and comparing odd little bits of evidence which were to bring about the undoing of so many clever men.

Superintendent Bartholette
Supt. Bartholette of Scotland Yard appeared with Division Inspector Dynes, q.v., and Detective Sergeant Talleyman in books such as The Crystal Gazers (1957) by Helen Robertson. However, Bartholette, a glutton for work, was really a subsidiary character, for Dynes was the central detective.

Chief Inspector Barton. See: Sir Richard Herrivel.

Dick Barton
Barton was a very famous detective, made known to millions through the medium of radio. He was the brain child of Norman Collins, head of the BBC Light Programme, and made his debut on October 7th, 1946. The first scriptwriter was Edward J. Mason, creator of BBC Radio’s “The Archers”, and subsequent writers included Geoffrey Webb and Basil Dawson.

In order that the series would have complete uniformity, a specially prepared dossier containing all the facts of Barton’s life was compiled. Briefly, he was an only child, born on 10th December 1912 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. He went to King Edward Grammar School and later studied at Glasgow University (1930-3). After a number of jobs in many countries he joined the army in 1939. Commissioned from the ranks to captain, he was demobilised in 1945, winning the Military Cross during the evacuations from Dunkirk. He refused a desk job with his old firm and became a detective, and his adventures as such were related on the radio.

Dick Barton was first played by Noel Johnson, who handed over to Duncan Carse in 1949. Barton was assisted by Snowy White (played by John Mann) and by Jock Anderson (Alex McCrindle). The theme music of the program was “The Devil’s Gallop.”

Barton also appeared in the cinema. One such film was Dick Barton at Bay (1950), with Don Stannard in the title role. A book giving all the details about Barton also appeared that same year: The Inside Story of Dick Barton by Geoffrey Webb.

Jim Bates
Jolly Jim Bates was a boy ventriloquist, and also a fully fledged assistant to Rodney Grange, the celebrated detective. He appeared in Comic Cuts in 1928 in a series entitled “Jolly Jim the Boy Ventriloquist.” An Inspector Storm also made brief appearances in the stories. Rodney Grange eventually retired to live with Bates and his mother at Trent Manor. The stories did not have a successful run.

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